By Mustapha Jallow
The Ministry of Basic and Secondary Education (MoBSE) has recently introduced what it called ‘‘Virtual Classroom’’ in 37 Schools across six Regional Education Directorates. The Virtual Classroom is an offline e-learning platform that allows students to access lessons through SD Card, using android phones and windows computers.
The pilot program which caters for Schools in the rural Gambia, targets students in the Upper Basic School from Grades 7, 8 and 9, with the aim of providing them with supplementary learning materials as well as keeping them busy while they are at home.
The beneficiary schools were selected following research conducted by the Science and Technology Education Directorate of the Ministry, which indicated a number of communities that do not have access to good mobile networks, internet, or are challenged with poor radio and television signals.
The use of SD Card as a tool for learning was applauded by many as one of the most significant programs piloted in Gambian Schools in recent years.
Bakary Sonko and Tida Kora of Kwinella and Dampha Kunda Basic Cycle Schools respectively highlighted the importance of this opportunity availed to students, by looking at the learning challenges in rural communities.
“I hope every student in the Gambia will be given this opportunity,” Mr Sonko said.
Parents in these 37 communities where the selected Schools are located, thanked MoBSE and encouraged them to extend the initiative to all Schools and at every level of the basic education cycle within the country because it will help engage students anywhere and at any time.
For most students, the initiative is a turning point in the country’s education sector because it will assist in the attainment of quality education in the country.
The deployment of SD Cards in Schools will continue, as many others are expected to benefit from the initiative.